The national emphasis on STEM education grows in part from the need for more mathematicians, scientists, and engineers. Without growth in these areas, our nation's ability to develop and advance its industrial base and to compete internationally will be at stake. This reality affects us all, but it is keenly felt in the modernizing Army, which depends increasingly on science and technology.
STEM education comprises courses ranging from microbiology to statistics, organic chemistry to computer programming. Currently, approximately fifty percent of cadets major in a discipline that falls under the rubric of STEM education, and onehundred percent of cadets, even as non-majors, still take a substantial amount of coursework in STEM disciplines. However, minority populations throughout the nation and at West Point are underrepresented in STEM fields. Compared with non-minority cadets, minority cadets are far less likely to major in a STEM discipline or pursue a STEM-related career after West Point. Additionally, minority cadets are often underperforming in STEM disciplines, suffering the ill effects of inequality in our systems of primary and secondary education.
In order to ensure that these underrepresented cadets receive the outreach, guidance, and resources needed to encourage their interest and success in STEM, West Point seeks to develop Center for Leadership and Diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.